Iran and nuclear weapons: Who has what and when did they get it?
Randy Black writes: Jon. Kofas posted (9/11/04) a statement to the effect that Iran had no nuclear weapons program and that US claims to the contrary was a way of deflecting criticism of the US actions in Iraq. Mr. Kofas cited a soon-to-be-released UN report as the source of his information.
This month, Iran confirmed the existence of its secret nuclear weapons program.
TEHRAN, Iran Mar 6, 2005 Iran confirmed that it initially developed its nuclear program in secret, going to the black market for material, and blaming its discretion on the U.S. sanctions and European restrictions that denied Iran access to advanced civilian nuclear technology.
Iran now openly admits that it has already achieved proficiency in the full range of activities involved in enriching uranium a technology that can be used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors or an atomic bomb.
Mohamed El Baradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (stated) "North Korea and Iran are still the two 800-pound gorillas in the room and not much is happening," he said in his office overlooking Vienna.
Jon Kofas writes: I read the CBS, ABC, MSNBC, & Washington Post stories regarding Iran's nuclear arms program, but there is nothing in those stories to confirm that Iran actually has nuclear weapons right now ready for operation in the same manner as Israel or the NUCLEAR CLUB of nations. I invite other WAISers to read the stories that Randy sent. All I understood is that Iran is on its way of building such weapons, a point that has been in the public arena. Vladmir Putin denies that Iran has such weapons, and the EU has explicitly stated that it will punish Iran with sanctions after taking the issue before the UN Security Council, if it proceeds to actually develop such weapons. The reason that this is significant is that the neo-cons dragged the U.S. to war against Iraq on the same type of false assumptions, or play on words that makes Clinton look like an amateur, as they are now using in Iran, namely that Iraq had the INTENTION & PROGRAMS to build WMDs. Do we go to war because nations have INTENTIONS and PROGRAMS? I may be absolutely wrong in the manner that I am reading these stories, so I invite others to please comment, especially in light of the recent New York Times article on Iraq's WMDs. Are we all reading the same thing and coming away with sharply different interpretations because of our disparate ideological/political perspectives?
Christopher Jones writes: I find the entire debate on whether Iran possesses nuclear technology rather ridiculous. Iran has not started a war in the last 100 years; it was however attacked by Saddam, who was happily complying with American desires to destroy the Iranian revolution. Iran may not be my idea of a democracy, but neither is Israel for that matter -- Israel does have nuclear weapons (Dimona), and it has been involved in several wars of aggression against the Arab people since 1948. The current Israeli Prime Minister is recognized by many inside Israel as a war criminal, whereas President Khatami is the leader of the moderates in the Islamic republic. Khatami has tried to reign in the excesses, and in particular when he put several top members of the secret police on trial for the murder of an opposition leader. All the US has managed to do in the Middle East is to strengthen the hand of the hardliners in Iranm who are indeed dangerous people. The US toppled Saddam and managed to bring the Shias together under clerical leaders like Sistani, who are pro-Iranian fellow travelling mullahs. Pakistan, by the way, has nuclear weapons and is neither a democracy nor does it have a peaceful record. And let's not forget that the only nation in history to use an atomic weapon was the US.
RH: I respect Khatami. but on his recent visit to Caracas he clearly cooked up something with Hugo Chavez.What? Another matter worth investigation is the US plan to build permanent bases in Iraq.